tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 19, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT
new jersey bombings is captured. the latest bombs were discovered overnight. the suspect was shot and is en route to the hospital. president obama delivered a statement in new york city. we are expecting an update from new york city officials. i'm andrea mitchell in new york following late breaking developments after blasts that terrorized new jersey over the last three days. our team has it covered for you. ayman mohyeldin is at the scene in linden, new jersey, where the suspect was captured. pete williams following the latest of the investigation from washington and sean henry, formerly of the fbi and msnbc contributor in washington. ayman, first to you. >> reporter: i was just talking to captain james czarnecki who gave us a detailed account of what took place this morning and as the details come in we'll
learn more in the coming hours. according to the police chief here, the call came at 12:30 this morning that an individual was sleeping in a vehicle outside of a bar. the bar was closed. the owner of the bar making his way to the bar noticed this individual sleeping in the doorway leading into the bar. police were called as they approached the individual and immediately recognized it was the person they were looking for. at that point they tried to wake him up. the individual pulled out a small handgun, we are told, and opened fire at one of the police officers and took off running to where the scene is now, where we are. it is about a block or so away.
the police did pursue the suspect on foot according to the police chief. that's where the shootout took place. it does not seem from our reporting now, according to the police chief, and this is different than we were originally told. he was sleeping in a doorway of a building when a civilian called the police. that's when they approached him. that happened around 10:30 mmm. as a result of that shootout according to the mayor and the police chief, two police officers were injured. one was shot in the chest but because he was wearing tactical gear it didn't penetrate. another was the result of shrapnel or glass debris that struck the police officer. both, we are told, are going to be okay. >> now stand by. i want to check in with pete williams for what the fbi and homeland are telling you. pete? >> they're saying now the question is was anyone else involved.
there's been talk this morning of a possible terror cell. that seems premature. the only thing that's known is one person was involved in the bombings, the authorities say. now the question is were others involved. andrea, just look at how quickly it happened. we had a bomb placed on the seaside in new jersey saturday morning. two placed in new york saturday night. monday morning we have a suspect in custody. now the authorities say they got onto ahmad rahami for a variety of factors. first of all, they found a fingerprint on one of the two unexploded or largely unexploded devices left behind over the weekend. secondly there were cell phones attached to the devices. they were able to exploit those, look for numbers and information on the cell phones. third, think say surveillance video from the multiplicity of cameras on the streets of new york saw someone that looked like rahami walking in the vicinity of where the bombs were
placed in chelsea saturday night. put that together, they started searching for rahami. by this morning they had searched his family home in elizabeth, new jersey. they had questioned members of his family. without finding him. then with the discovery that there were more potential explosives placed this morning near a train -- commuter rail station in elizabeth they decided to make public the fact that they were looking for him and three hours later, three hours later you have the shootout in new jersey that resulted in his capture. it's astonishing. >> it is. we are looking now at a live stream from ayman mohyeldin's iphone. ayman, if you are hearing us, tell us who this gentleman is. is this a police officer? what's he saying? >> reporter: yeah. i'm with -- you are listening to
captain -- the captain here of linden city. he was giving us an account of what happened. i will ask him again and i apologize, sir. i will ask you to repeat yourself. if you can tell us what happened this morning with the suspect in the shootout that took place here. >> at about 10:30 this morning -- >> he was giving us an account of what happened. i will ask him again. i apologize for that. i will ask you to repeat yourself. tell us again what happened this morning with the suspect in the shootout that took place. >> at about 10:30 this morning we received a call about somebody sleeping in a doorway of a local bar, a local business. the business was closed at the time. our officers responded. one of the officers approached the suspect who was sleeping, tried to rouse him. the gentleman on the ground picked up his head. the officer saw he had a beard that resembled the wanted person from the poster, from the
bombings. at that point the officer ordered the suspect to show your hands. the suspect put his hand to his side, pulled out a handgun, fired a shot at the officer, striking him in the abdomen. fortunately the officer had a bullet proof vest on which sustained most of the round. the officer returned fire. at that point the suspect started walking down the street in a westerly direction. from monitoring radio transmissions during the time i understand the suspect was indiscriminately firing his weapon at passing vehicles. we are not sure if anybody or anything was struck. we had multiple officers respond to the scene at some point the suspect was shot more than once was actually taken down to the suspect was shot more than once? >> that's correct. >> reporter: do you know his
condition now? >> when i was at the scene initially, he was conscious and awake. >> reporter: he was conscious and awake at the time he was taken into custody. >> that's correct. yes. >> reporter: did he say anything about accomplices? >> i didn't talk to him. at that point once we realized who we were dealing with, we notified the fbi who responded immediately. we turned over the investigation to them. they are the lead agency. it is a very active crime scene, active investigation. >> reporter: do you know the whereabouts of the vehicle that may have been used by this individual? >> i'm not aware of a vehicle involved in the incident. there may be one. that's all under investigation and the fbi will handle that. >> reporter: do you know if there were explosives found on the individual? possible detonators? anything? >> i didn't examine it personally. this will be given out later by the fbi. they will handle it. >> reporter: over the past 48 hours your police department, what was going on looking for
this individual? were you surprised to find him in linden? >> well, yesterday the bombings last night, the devices found at the elizabeth train station. elizabeth is only one town over from us. >> reporter: right. >> obviously we went into high alert mode. we posted security at our train station. realized it's close to home. we are only one town over from last night. it doesn't surprise me that he ended up in linden. >> reporter: what kind of weapon did he have on him? >> from monitoring the radio i believe it was an automatic handgun. >> reporter: and how many shots was he able to fire toward the police? >> i know one officer was shot in the abdomen. another officer sustained either shrapnel or ricochet to the raci -- facial area. that will come out in the investigation.
>> reporter: there were supposedly five people taken on the bridge out of interest. do you know what their connection is? >> the fbi will know. >> reporter: are there individuals that the police department has been made aware of? >> no. this was the only person that we received the wanted poster on. you know, other than that i have to refer you to the fbi. >> reporter: what's the nature of the scene now? what's going on a few yards from here? >> we have multiple agencies on scene. federal, state, local. they are doing their investigation. obviously we made a wide swath for the crime scene. we do have multiple crime scenes. it will be a while before it wraps up. multiple agencies conducting active investigations now. >> reporter: okay. thank you very much. your name? >> captain james sarnicki. >> thank you, ayman.
your audio is fading but thank you very much for jumping on that with the captain. that was a very specific account of what happened in this takedown. joining me now as well as pete williams we have sean henry, former deputy assistant director of the fbi. sean, when we are talking about what the fbi is doing now and how they brought this one suspec in, what are they now likely doing and trying to find out whether this is a larger cell, no doubt? >> yeah, andrea. this is just 48 hours old. when you think about what happened in seaside, chelsea saturday night and again this morning. with the discovery of pipe bombs in a backpack and the shootout. this is young in the
investigation stage. the fbi is absolutely considering if there are other suspects. that's one of the first things we see an incident like this. you've got an explosion. you've got somebody in custody. now it is an intelligence investigation. you want to be sure to identify any other potential coconspirators. imminent threats that might be facing citizens somewhere. are there other bombs? even if this is a sole individual, are there other ieds that may have been placed elsewhere in the city that a child could come across or somebody might stumble across? this is about gathering intelligence, trying to find out the total scope of this particular incident. and then to try and determine what other potential coconspirators there may be who were acting in concert with rahami. they have already executed a
search warrant add his home in elizabeth. there will likely be other search warrants executed if there is a vehicle and other places he may have been sleeping. a lot will come out from that. >> what do we know, sean, about the origin of his radicalization? presumably they are looking at his online communications. to what terror branch might he be affiliated if not directed? this sounds more like a lone wolf. >> when you do the media exploitation you will be looking at e-mails, who he may have been in contact with. that will start to help to determine how he became radicalized or what the motivation is. we are talking about terrorism. certainly everything we have seen certainly says this is terrorism somehow connected to the jihadi cause. we've got to find out what the motivation is. one of the problems now for law enforcement and the fbi is those
people who are not directed but are inspired because of what they are reading online, people they are in contact with online. when we talk about what happened in chelsea, the pressure cooker bomb, that particular device is straight out of the playbook of al qaeda. "inspire" magazine put it out years ago. these devices are used in afghanistan, throughout the middle east because they are damaging when they go off. then we look at pipe bombs used in seaside, found in elizabeth this morning and those are different devices. so the fbi will be looking at who he was in contact with, where he learned the trade craft and most importantly was he specifically directed or self-radicalized and did he come to this of his own volition?
>> i want to ask you about that. fist we want to share what president obama said. he's here in new york for the u.n. general assembly meetings. this is a time of tremendous security in new york. i can attest as someone arriving today in new york the security is incredible. there was a homeland directive last night to even tighten what's already very tough security with all of the motorcades, you have the president, vice president, secretary of state and foreign leaders here. this was the president interrupting his schedule to make this comment about obviously these terror events. >> i want to take this opportunity to reassure the people in this city, this region and americans across our country that our counter terrorism and law enforcement officials at every level -- federal, state, and local are working together around the clock to prevent attacks and to keep us safe. folks around here, they don't get scared.
they're tough. they are resilient. they go about their business every single day. >> and wabc new york has video reportedly showing rahami on a stretcher being taken into an ambulance today. you can see, as was reported there was an exchange of gunfire and he was injured. as the captain in linden reported to us a few minutes ago he was talking, conscious and when they realized who he was they called the fbi. not wanting to interfere at all with the legal implications of this investigation, bringing the federal officials into it. that brings me to pete williams who covers the justice department. everything else. law enforcement for us. pete, this is a remarkable bit of detective work for sure. but now they need to know the connecti connections, the next step and determine the connections between seaside, linden, both of
the manhattan devices. >> yes, that's true. although i have to say the main focus this morning has been to capture the person they attribute to one of the bombings in new york. they have yet to definitively establish the connection with new jersey. there are strong possibilities that the devices are connected. that will be a follow-on in terms of the forensic investigation of the devices in terms of how much they actually charge him. but it is an important question to know whether he did these or whether others were involved. so they will be interviewing him of course to the extent he talks, looking to his communication now that they have identified him. who was he in touch with? who were his phone calls, his e-mails. the question of whether he was radicalized by overseas influences or directed is on the table although the initial impression i got this morning from talking to federal officials is they have seen no indication of a foreign directed
plot but whether he's inspired by isis is to be determined to the extent they can find it. who he was in touch with on the internet and so forth. the propaganda he may have been consuming to try to answer the why question is down the road. for now the main concern was to get somebody off the street planting bombs and they believe they have deone that. there was talk about a potential terror cell but as far as i have heard, they only know for sure that they believe one person was involved in the bombings. whether others were involved or not is to be determined. what we expect will happen here now is he will be questioned by federal authorities. he can, of course, refuse to answer the questions but in any event federal charges will be filed. we believe they will be filed in manhattan in the southern district of new york. it will be a federal case. at some point he will have an
initial appearance if he's able to do so before a judge or by remote control. they can do it in his hospital room. there are a lot of options but now the judicial process will start. >> before we go to a break, pete, the trigger devices, the pressure cooker, are these old school, al qaeda, off-the-internet type of devices? isis-inspired? is there anything technically we can tell? and what about the five people stopped on the verizano bridge. >> they were questioned. i think that's been over for several hours. they were his family. no one was arrested. as far as we know they were cooperative. in terms of the broadly speaking the instructions for the devices have been out there for at least six, seven years. they were originally published by the al qaeda magazine "inspire" but they go back years
before. al qaeda didn't invent this but the idea of putting bombs in pressure cookers was published in "inspire" magazine. unfortunately the directions for doing this have been out 24r for a long time. >> sean henry, just continuing on this thread here about what else might be involved, what are the fbi now looking for? how do you interrogate a man who was shot? he has to get medical treatment first. what's the procedure? >> he'll get medical treatment. but agents will be talking to him in relatively short order. when this started we had the devices that had not been exploded. we had the crime scenes in chelsea and seaside. this was a forensic investigation. there was a lot of intelligence to be gathered. they got a fingerprint off one of the devices. that led him to rahami. he's the single most important
piece of intelligence. when you can get to him, if you get him to talk, if he discusses coconspirators, talking about some of the people historically have been somewhat willing to talk about why they did what they did because of the cause. if, in fact, he's radicalized and did this on behalf of the jihadi cause they want to talk about that. they may be able to glean information, intelligence from there. again, also additional physical evidence now that they have got to him they start to look at his entire network. who has he been communicating with? where has he lived? is there documentation? computer or peripheral devices? data storage capability? these are things that will lead the fbi and terrorism task force to the next lead. there is a lot to do. 48 hours they have accomplished
quite a bit. kudos to the jttf. outstanding police work. lots more to come in the ensuing days and weeks, andrea. >> sean, going forward there's been so much back and forth politically about who is responsible and are we as well-protected as we should be. hillary clinton saying today that we have the tools in place and we have to surge intelligence. how do you surge intelligence more than the hundreds of billions of dollars we have spent since 9/11 on intelligence? >> well, there are a couple different things. when talking about directed attacks where the syrian -- somebody in syria is directing people, sending fighters over who trained internationally, people who are much more sophisticated and capable to come in, some of the attacks, similar to what we have seen over in europe in the last few months. that's one type of way to do that is to take the fight to the
adversaries. we have seen enhanced military actions over in syria. when you talk about people who may be inspired here it is a very different type of investigation. it is a different type of risk. the intelligence community and the law enforcement community are trying to use the public to help identify people who are becoming radicalized. as we see in chelsea and in seaside, the devices that were used are very easy to come by. we saw the attack in minnesota again. somebody using a knife. the playbook now for isis is fight where you stand. you don't have to come over and train in the middle east and then come back to the states. you can actually pick up whatever is nearby and attack the infidels. that's the messaging and the inspirational attacks that are of greatest concern to law enforcement. the opportunity to work with the community to get the most information you can to try to be
proactive and identify attacks before they occur. that will require a lot more cooperation, coordination and intelligence-sharing with the private sector and law enforcement and intelligence agencies, andrea. >> the other question, of course, this gentleman is an afghan immigrant. he's a suspect now. we don't know more than that. do we know anything about whether he is a documented immigrant? do we know anything about his background? his father and brothers have this chicken restaurant in elizabeth, from the mayor at least. do we know more? this is obviously going to become a hot button issue. >> yeah. i have seen just media reporting that said he's a naturalized citizen. i don't have background on when he may have come to the states. certainly it will be part of the investigation again. has he traveled back to afghanistan since he's been in the united states. does he have associates who traveled back and forth or that
he's associating with here in the metro area, new york, new jersey. that will be part of the investigation. when we talk about going forward, those are the intelligence pieces the jttf are going to exploit as quickly as possible. they can identify the full tentacles, full history and travel back and forth. >> which brings me to lathe alcoury and malcolm nance on the phone. rahema ellis is in the chelsea neighborhood where it started. what do we know about his online activity and who might have been in contact with him if anyone. >> it's unclear what kind of online activity he's been doing. there were reportshat he's had social networking footprint where he might have expressed some jihadist sentiment.
of course that's unconfirmed still. but, you know, this is what the investigators will be doing -- looking at everything he posted online, his digital communications. they will seize his hard drives, everything, conduct forensic analysis for clues he might have left there. his web browsing history, cache, videos in support of isis. if he had contact via messengers or whatever to that effect with individuals overseas, especially in locations where isis or other groups may have been operational. >> as an expert in the field, how does this government become more proactive? that's another thing debated in the campaign. how can you be more proactive given silicone valley to understand there are privacy
issues. >> i think the government now has been proactive. certainly in new york state i spent a good part of the last year lecturing the bomb squad, s.w.a.t. teams and intelligence divisions of new york city on isis tactics and personnel. these self-inspired radicals, the american citizens who join isis generally do it with a very small footprint. so right now we are conducting as extensive an information operation that nsa can bring in. that requires us to have an initial indicator that a person is radicalized. there is not a lot we can do other than raise the level of intensity. that requires much larger budgets, much larger manpower. the joint terrorism task force in new york city and around the tri-state area, they are always online all the time, looking out
for the targets. for the most part, all we can do is stop playing the political game and understand that there are people on the job every day and try to give them more resources. >> this has been a subject for hillary clinton. she's speaking at temple university right now. a planned event. she spoke this morning already. let's listen. >> a sobering reminder that we need steady leadership in a dangerous world. i'm here to talk about a number of the issues that are part of this election but really much more than that. they are part of our future. the kind of country we want to have. the kind of people we want to be and particularly what kind of opportunities we should be providing for the young people of america. i have a proud owl on my staff jamira burley. [ applause ]
a philadelphia native who became an activist to end the gun violence -- >> hillary clinton segueing into the speech she was planning to give to reach out to millennials who were not inspired so far in the numbers that they had been by barack obama four and eight years ago. that was a concern for the campaign. the big concern is the terrorism in new york and new jersey. rahema ellis is in chelsea in the neighborhood where it exploded on saturday night around 8:30. how was the neighborhood dealing with what has been an extraordinary 36 hours. >> reporter: they are dealing with -- it is expected of new yorkers. the reputation of new yorkers being tough, resilient is shining through. some said they had fear.
they would not be paralyzed by fear. they had to get up and get on with the business of living. people talked about how encouraged they were with the developments. these are fast-moving developments in the story. it's giving people here a sense of relief that there is, according to police a suspect in custody and that the suspect was brought into custody a little over three hours after police released the name and the photograph of the person who they said was spotted in a surveillance video at the site of the bombing here in chelsea. it is a rainy, tough morning in general out here. people are getting on with it. concerned about what's happened. relief with what they are hearing in terms of development and insisting they won't be cowered by actions here over the weekend. >> thank you. morgan radford is at the university hospital in new
jersey where the suspect has been taken. have they given you an update for? >> reporter: so far, no. as you mentioned we are at university hospital here in newark. they have confirmed that the suspect is here. they said they would give us to initial details at this time. i just want you to know how we got here today. i was at his home as the fbi agents were carrying away a car that appears to belong to the suspect. we also saw fbi agents, local police authorities on the scene above a fried chicken restaurant we know was involved in a lawsuit involving the suspect's family. the fbi investigation was focused on the second floor. that appears to be where the family lives. five members of the family were detailed yesterday. they have not been charged as far as we know, on the bridge in new york.
that shows how far this has spanned. not only in new jersey where i was yesterday but in new york, right here also in newark, new jersey. where we know the suspect is now. >> thank you. all of this is happening with the presidential election on the line. hillary clinton this morning, as we said, saying donald trump is part of the problem in the fight against isis, that his comments throughout the primary and general election campaigns assist terror groups in recruiting efforts. this was this morning in white plains at the airport. >> i don't want to speculate. here's what we know. it's important for voters to hear this and weigh it in making the choice in november. we know that a lot of the rhetoric we have heard from donald trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular isis. they are looking to make this into a war against islam. i have been very clear. we are going after the bad guys. we'll get them. we are not going after an entire
religion. >> we also heard a radio interview on fox news from donald trump this morning before he met with egypt's president, meetings because of the u.n. this week and flew to florida. this was donald trump earlier today. >> we have to be tough. maybe we are going to be seeing a big change over the last couple of days. this is something maybe will happen perhaps more and more all over the country. >> what do you mean? more terrorist strikes? >> yeah. we have been weak. our country has been weak. >> joining me now, kristen welker with the clinton campaign in philadelphia, peter alexander here in new york. peter, let's talk about the dynamic here in the campaign. talking about october surprises for several election cycles, but this is exactly what a lot of the people around hillary clinton had been concerned
about -- some incident. we recall how san bernardino and the muslim ban elevated donald trump and gave him a tough persona in the triemryes. he's polling better than hillary clinton in the ability to combat terrorism. she has diverse numbers better than he. to be commander in chief. >> it was 50 days to the election. seven days until the first debate. we have seen in real time a point/counterpoint. donald trump today among other things looking at racial profiling. saying it affected police in the country are afraid to do anything to stop attacks like the bombings that took place in new york and new jersey. they don't want to be accused of racial profiling. he said the country needs to look at it more seriously. he said it is a concept he doesn't like but one he thinks we need to pursue going forward.
true to donald trump's tone he was a little bit more self-congratulatory in his language, bragging in effect, taking credit for saying this was a bombing even before the determinations had at least been communicated publically by law enforcement saying i should have been a newscaster. i called it before the news. obviously that's in sharp contrast to the way hillary clinton handled this. a more measured, cautious approach. >> he's now tweeting great job by law enforcement. we are proud of them and should embrace them. without them we don't have a country. he was endorsed by the fraternal order of police over the weekend. this puts hillary clinton on the spot. she has campaigned on her resumé, advantages, having been part of the administration, secretary of state, a senator on armed services. yet donald trump is still communicating toughness in a way she hasn't been able to. she's also off message in this was going to be the big rollout
of the appeal to millennials. a problem she has inspiring young people to come out in the numbers they did for barack obama. >> reporter: there is no doubt it is complicating her efforts to energize millennial voters. i will get to that in a moment. to your first point, it creates a challenge for secretary clinton. donald trump talks tough. voters are clearly responding to that. her strategy is to tout her experience and talk about the strategy she called for to defeat isis. you heard her talk about tackling lone wolves. the strategy says, look, the polls under score what we have been saying that this is a deeply divided electorate. to the second point, she is not matching up to where obama was in 2012 with key parts of the
obama coalition. she's talking about plans for college affordability to make college free for many americans. this is going to be critical to win in november. not just millennials but other key parts of the obama coalition. latinos. some critics say she hasn't done enough to reach out to them. the clinton group now has spanish language ads. the debate is about a week away. the challenge is to make sure she energizes the voting group while trying to look strong. >> kristen welker and peter alexander. we are awaiting details from the new york city mayor, police chief and the u.s. attorney for lower manhattan. they are gathering at police headquarters momentarily. we'll bring it to you live. stay with us. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." at safelite, we know how busy life can be.
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and joining me now on the phone is carina gross an eyewitness to the scene where the suspect was captured. tell me what you saw. >> i was a block away. my dad owns a warehouse on the corner. we were inside. everything was good. then we heard a few gunshots. we went outside to see what was going on and the whole street was blocked off with police. when you look down the street you saw the suspect laying on the ground with come cops surrg him. >> how many gunshots did you hear? do you know what kind of gunfire it was? >> it was about four to five shots. there was no screaming, no yelling. i didn't know what was going on. he was in elizabeth which is close to linden.
>> were you guarded or concerned because of your proximity to where he was last seen or where the suspect was supposedly from? what's the move in the neighborhood where your father has the warehouse. >> i was concerned. in the eyesight of where we were. when we did go outside it seemed that what had already happened was being taken care of and the cops were surrounding him. and were already taking him into custody. in the video i have, he's just laying on the floor. that's the point i was outside. it wasn't like the gunshots were continuing or i felt an immediate danger. are the police now canvassing the neighborhood, asking questions about anybody who might have been with him or might have seen him? >> i'm not there anymore. but the fbi was there.
homeland security. the vibe was quiet. more quiet than it was. surprisingly it wasn't chaotic all over the streets. homeland security was there. the fbi, linden police. but it wasn't something that was just pure chaos. >> we are looking at your video, the video you shot on your phone. thank you for sharing that as we. thank you very much for calling in. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> richard engel, our chief foreign correspondent is on the phone with me now. this is a fast bit of police work, but of course they don't know -- >> reporter: incredibly fast. that struck me from the beginning. as soon as i left my apartment where i was and i heard this blast, by the time i got down stairs and walked a couple of
blocks i saw hundreds if not more than hundreds of firemen, police officers, national guard, an enormously fast response. now a rapid investigation and rapid conclusion to at least this part of the manhunt. i didn't see this in paris, in brussels. the terrorist attack in nay robro -- nairobi lasted for days. >> partly through the forensics, trigger devices, the presence of cameras, the ct cameras omnipresent in new york city, especially manhattan -- >> reporter: they had a fingerprint, phone numbers, bomb fragments, video. this was all within the first few hours. then they put out an apb alerting everyone basically in
the new york area with a cell phone to be on the lookout for this man, putting his photograph out. very fast actions. >> i picked up hints from one law enforcement official last night that this could unraff rr quickly. they were putting together pieces of a puzzle and there were connections between new york and new jersey. clearly they had the visual evidence and the forensics as well. but then the question becomes we have seen three devices. more than three now if you count seaside. so what is the likelihood that there are more people involved? >> reporter: well, the fact that he was found more or less alone. the fact that there was only one named suspect suggests that maybe he had low level accomplices, somebody who drove him some place. it doesn't seem to suggest this
was a large cell or an operating cell. i believe it was the governor who said a long time ago there wasn't an expectation of ongoing threats. so those comments suggest that perhaps he was a lone wolf. i don't think we'll know. i'm sure he'll be interrogated much further and questioned much further. from looks at it, this could have been carried out by one individual. it was not a terribly sophisticated attack. there is a tendency in the media and there is a tendency in our business, frankly, to look at what could go wrong to have a sensationalized report. in a certain sense there is a gad news story that people should feel very reassured that an angry person put together some home made bombs that basically didn't work and the law enforcement responded with incredible speed. >> you know, for perspective as you are providing now, i was
struck by former police chief bratton on "morning joe" today saying this was only the second actual terror attack in manhattan since 9/11. if you think of the ax-wielding man who went after police more than a year ago. now this with 29 victims on saturday night. >> reporter: and even those two aren't comparable to 9/11. somebody with an ax or this home made bomb thrown into a dumpster or put under a dumpster which contained most of the blast and the shrapnel. this is not even -- shouldn't really be in the same breath as 9/11 which was a sophisticated and devastating attack. >> only two but on a totally different scale. >> let's talk for a moment because you have been out and about.
i as well today. this is the traffic nightmare week for new york city every year. now such a high degree. you not only have the u.n. meeting. you have the tail end of fashion week, the clinton foundation, the last clinton global initiative meetings. this is a city filled with leaders, ceos and big shots with motorcades. the president, the vice president, the secretary of state, half the cabinet here. and now as well a real terror incident. new york police just stretched to the max. showing incredible, great stuff. >> reporter: in a certain sense if you want to get attention this is a good week to do it. there is so much focus on manhattan. frankly there is always a lot of attention on the new york tri-state area. it is not a good week if you want to put home made pipe bombs
around the city and think you won't get caught. as mentioned every law enforcement agency is here to plan for this visit. the secret service sends advance teams. they are responsible for all the world leaders who are here or will be arriving shortly. in one sense if you want to grab attention this is a good time. if you want to carry out a terrorist attack your chances are low of succeeding with so much security around. >> pete williams joins us now from washington with new details on the law enforcement side. pete? >> andrea, in the past, well, a little over 15, 20 hours now authorities have been trying to gather evidence on the man they believe is behind at least some of the bombings. ahmad rahami. they learned additional material after searching the home in elizabeth, new jersey -- the family home. authorities tell us they did find bomb-making materials in
the residence in new jersey in elizabeth that were consistent with the materials found in the new york and new jersey bombings. as a legal matter we'll see when they file the charges if they charge him with all of the three devices planted over the weekend with one or two in new york where they believe the evidence is strongest. all of the pieces now, we are told, have been sent to the fbi crime lab just outside washington, d.c. in quantico, virginia. we'll look at the obvious things you can see with your eye which is roughly speaking how the devices that didn't blow up were built. the one on 27th street and the one in seaside park, new jersey. they will look at a more detailed level. what kind of wire was used? tool marks when you use pliers or a wire cutter they make a
distinctive mark. what kind of tape was used. what the explosives were. all the things they can see whether they believe these devices, though different in nature. pipe bombs and pressure cookers, whether they believe they are all the work of the same person and, if so, they can establish that by evidence. but what is the evidence against rahami. we are told it's partly a fingerprint found on one of the unexploded bombs. partly exploiting cell phones connected to unexploded devices which were to be timers and power sources. these weren't just burner phones but older model flip phones. apparently there was data on them they could exploit. i'm not sure exactly how it worked if it was phone numbers or something else. that was an additional source of information. the surveillance video on the streets of new york they believe shows rahami at the scenes of the two devices shown there
saturday night. the search in new jersey that picked up additional bomb-making material they think is consistent with the devices. for all those reasons they decided to focus attention on him. they did so last night intending to search the place in new jersey. they find while doing that there are additional bombs in a trash receptacle in elizabeth at a commuter station. they are not sure if those were additional bombs planted, intended to go off or if somebody was trying to get rid of things. the one bomb you see in the video that goes off when held by a robot, we are told that was not a controlled explosion. that was them trying to defuse it. not this scene in new york but in elizabeth, new jersey, this morning. they cut one of the wires thinking it would cut the power source to the bomb and the bomb went off. why it went off, whether it was
the cutting of the wire or something else i don't know. they don't know what the deal was with those placed this morning. this was the scene in elizabeth. this backpack was discovered with bombs. we are told they were trying to cut a wire. they were cutting the power to it and it went off. they were discovered by two people who looked inside, saw wires and things that concerned them. they called the police. the police called the bomb squad. they sent for the robots. that's the scene. why was that device there? was it being tossed because the heat was on? was it another attempted bombing? that, we don't know the answer to. >> pete, you mentioned the raid at the apartment and what they found there and what was said at quantico. do you know if he lived in the family house, lived alone or with the family? this will obviously involve
questioning also the relatives. >> the relatives were questioned. several other relatives were questioned this morning as they drove along near the narrow bridge the car was stopped. they were questioned. we are told they were cooperative. the questioning lasted several hours. i don't believe from the latest information i have that anyone was detained out of that. that the questioning is over. it is our understanding he lived in the residence. i can't say with 100% certainty that's the case. >> i believe richard engel is still with us. as you head to new jersey where this has gone down today, what more do we know about any of the people in the community and what is homeland doing now in spreading out and trying to find out people who knew him? >> reporter: interesting back story. five years ago the rahami family filed a lawsuit -- a federal
lawsuit -- in which they were claiming that the community, neighbors, and the local police department were harassing them and harassing their business, a fried chicken restaurant. they claimed it was because they were muslim and they were being unfairly discriminated against, unfairly fined. members of the community have spoken to nbc news that there had been complaints but not because this was a muslim family but because their fried chicken restaurant was open late. it was attracting an unsavory crowd that was making noise, making disturbances in the community. there had been this unusual lawsuit. a lawsuit that didn't go anywhere in which the family claimed they were being targeted because of their religious background. >> you have been covers homeland security and jeh johnson to
reach out to muslim americans having gone to chicago last week. this is going to again raise the specter of all of the issues donald trump made front and center in the campaign. it is a difficult situation for muslim-americans when something like this happens. >> right. the question for law enforcement will be how did -- ultimately they have to try to answer this question of what was the motivation here, was the person radicalized by the internet. i don't believe they know the answer. it will be many days in coming. the normal way to answer the question is to look at a person's e-mail history. their history of looking on the internet. was it someone looking at propaganda videos? was he in touch with someone else? those are questions they have to try to answer. >> richard engel, again, looking at the region talking about the
fact that there are fewer lone wolves attracted to get into syria. that's becoming a more dangerous journey and less productive. it does mean the message from isis and from their leader to do it at home means they could be facing more lone wolves if that's what this turns out to be. >> if that's what we are facing here that's a possibility. there is a difference. look at the paris attacks, the theater attack where you had a team of battle-hardened militants who had gone and presumably been involved in killing people and actual fighting in syria and iraq returned home and join up with other members of the community to carry out an attack. that was sophisticated, a commando-style attack that was
prolonged and devastating. to have someone who is directly connected to the battlefield, to isis, the mothership is different. if ahmad rahami was inspired by that message, was responding to a call, doing it on your own, building a bomb or a few bombs based on a manual on the internet clearly is not as effective as having real world battle experience. i would say this was an unsuccessful attempt by him to carry out a coordinated attack. as pete was saying he left a trail of evidence behind. several of the bombs didn't work. then ultimately he was shot and is in custody. all of these are signs of failure. >> pete williams, we understand now law enforcement officials are focused on these areas. where else are they looking as they worry about securing in u.n. >> that's a well established
plan because they know who will be where on what days. the ramping up of security for u.n. was advanced a few days because some of the principles coming to new york arrived earlier than expected. they already started to ramp it up because of that. they would have done it anyway because of where the bombing activity had taken place or not. they are going to stay with the footing until the u.n. general assembly meeting is over. that's a pretty well established routine they have of what streets are blocked. what security is where. you noted yourself being up there. it is exceptionally tight. anybody going to new york who is around those activities should expect extraordinary security and you gather from their experience that's what they are getting. >> right now just trying to get here from the train station
today with a nightmare -- it's a rainy day in new york. you know how that goes. the law enforcement officials have been spot-on and terrific. they are to be congratulated. joining me is andrew cuomo, governor of new york. you have been on top of this, telling people to be calm and that i believe the governor is joining us in a moment. i was told he was there. we are waiting for governor cuomo to be with us in a moment. if you can continue what the law enforcement is in new york city now not only at the u.n. they are checking platforms. now they will be looking at dumpsters. >> you have the overlay on top. of course there is still a considerable amount of work being done with the bombings. it secured the site in seaside
park, new jersey, where the unsuccessful pipe bomb was planted in the trash can for the people who were not following this over the weekend. one bomb was placed along the run that was to raise money for the marine corps. the start was delayed because so many people turned out. at 9:30 a bomb went off in seaside park in a trash can. it didn't successfully detonate entirely. it didn't cause much damage. fortunately it was a dud. nobody was there at the time. that's one scene. then you have the two scenes in new york. the biggest one, of course, is on 23rd street where the device did go off. that's pretty well opened up now. it was a huge chore. there were hundreds of pieces spread all over the sidewalk, blown up onto the tops of window